Yes, it’s the weekend again and time to review the best new movies and television shows just added to the big three streamers Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. So let’s get right to it!
Hulu has added some pretty good stuff in the last seven days, including Oh, Lucy, the 2017 comedy/drama from Japan. Oh, Lucy is about a woman having a bit of a midlife crisis, so she takes an English Class, and adopts a new name and ego, courtesy her teacher, that of Lucy(Ricardo). It stars Shinobu Terajima in the title role, and also features Josh Hartnett, as her teacher and Shiori Kutsuna. Oh, Lucy gets a 100%(!) from Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.8/10 on IMDb. Hulu also has Before We Vanish, a 2017 sy-fy movie from, again, Japan. Before We Vanish is about an alien invasion, well, actually the precursor to the invasion, with three aliens coming and taking really the contents of the victims mind, leaving them happy, but mindless. This isn’t a high-tension movie or thriller, but, as Simon Abrams of Roger Ebert.com says ” a very laid back hang-out movie” It stars Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda and Mahiro Tagasugi and is directed by Kiyoshi Kurasawa. It gets a 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Simon Abrams(above) gave it 3/4 stars. Hulu also just added Ismael’s Ghost, a French 2017 movie. It stars Marion Cotillard as a woman who returns from nowhere after 20 years, to find her husband Ismeal (Mathieu Almaric), has moved on with his life. The movie also stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Louis Garrel. Ismael’s Ghost gets a 5.6/10 on IMDB and a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes. And, finally, Hulu has added the last season of Casual, a Hulu original series. Now, I have missed this, thus far, but will soon remedy that, since it’s directed by Jason Reitman(Juno, Thank you For Smoking). It stars Michaela Watkins and Tommy Dewey as a newly divorced woman, moving in with her brother, together with her daughter, Tara Lynne Barr. It also stars Frances Conroy(Six Feet Under) and Nyasha Hatendi. Casual gets a 92% from Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.6/10 on IMDb.
Netflix, too, has added some interesting and important stuff this week, the most important, The Bleeding Edge, a Netflix Original documentary about the growing and dangerous industry of medical devices. Our medical expert calls it “important to see” and the stories told “horrendous.” About the effects of a profit-driven, $400 billion/year industry, virtually uncontrolled by the FDA, it’s directed by Kirby Dick, and gets a 100% from Rotten Tomatoes and an 8/10 from IMDb. Variety calls it “disturbingly powerful” , The Guardian calls it ” terrifying” and everyone should watch it. Netflix has also added Invisible, a 2017 Argentine movie. About a 17 year old girl who unhappily pregnant, it stars Mora Arenillas, Mara Bestelli and Diego Cremenessi. Invisible, directed by Camera D’Or winner Pablo Giorgelli, gets an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.2/10 on IMDb. Another new addition to Netflix is Her, the syfy drama from 2013 starring Joaquin Phoenix. Set in the heavily automated near-future, Her is about a heartbroken man, who falls in love with his new operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. The movie was written, directed and produced by Spike Jonze, who won an Academy Award for the writing effort,has a great supporting cast, including Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde, and won great reviews. Her gets a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8/10 on IMDb. Also new to Netflix, is The Informant!, a 2009 movie from Steven Soderbergh. The Informant! stars Matt Damon as an executive at Archer Daniels Midland, who starts building a price-fixing case for the FBI from inside, only to end up serving a lengthy sentence in prison for embezzlement. It also stars Scott Bakula, Melanie Lynsky and Joel McHale, got 4/4 stars from Roger Ebert, and gets a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. Based on a (screwy)true story, you’ve got to see it to believe it. If you need horror, Netflix offers Emilie, a 2016 movie. Starring Sarah Bolger, Joshua Rush and Carly Adams, Emilie is about a teenage babysitter from Hell. This movie is kind of predictable and fairly nasty(don’t let the kiddies watch!), but if you need a scare, this may be it. And it gets an 88% from Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.4/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Netflix has added Like Father, starring Kristin Bell. An overworked executive, Bell is jilted at the altar, only to be joined by her long lost father(Kelsey Grammer) on her honeymoon. The cast also includes Seth Rogen, Blaire Brooks and Lauren Miller Rogen, who also, wrote and directed this movie. This movie only gets a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, but a 6.1/10 on IMDb and Kristin Bell is always enjoyable, so I’m watching.
Amazon has one great addition this week, which is How to Talk to Girls at Parties, the 2017 movie starring Elle Fanning and Alex Sharp. The pair star as two girls who from another planet, in the 1970’s London, who wow the British teens, and things escalate from there. This movie also stars Nicole Kidman, Joanna Scanlan and Ruth Wilson and is based on the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman. The New York Times calls it “endearingly childlike”, and it’s a great portrayal of punk rock in the ‘70’s. IMDb gives it a 5.9/10, but you should see it for yourself, especially if you love Gaiman. Amazon has also added Freedom Writers, the 2007 movie starring Hillary Swank. The story of a teacher in a racially divided school who has her students start recording their experiences with racism in their lives, The Freedom Writers also stars Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glen and Imelda Staunton. It gets a 7.5/10 on IMDb and a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Amazon has also added In & Out, the 1997 movie starring Kevin Kline. Directed by Frank Oz, In & Out is about teacher(Kline), who is identified as gay, by a grateful student(Matt Damon), on a nationwide telecast. Trouble is, Kline doesn’t think he’s gay and is engaged to be married to a fellow teacher Joan Cusack. This movie also stars Wilford Brimley, Bob Newhart, Tom Selleck and Debbie Reynolds and got good reviews, as well as an Academy Award nomination for the always wonderful Joan Cusack. It gets a 72% from Rotten tomatoes and a 6.3/10 on IMDb. And, finally, Amazon has added The Soloist,the 2009 movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx. The true Story of a Los Angeles reporter, Steve Lopez (Downey), who discovers a homeless man, Nathaniel Ayers(Foxx) who has fantastic abilities as a cellist. Ayers is also schizophrenic and Lopez tries to help him get housing, which Ayers doesn’t want, so Lopez helps him in other ways, including his own big cello recital. It also stars Catherine Keener, Octavia Spencer and Lisa Gay Hamilton. It gets a 6.7/10 on IMDb.
So, if it’s hot outside, chill inside and stream movies online this weekend, and binge on your favorite shows!